Be thankful on Thanksgiving
by Doyle Ranstrom on Nov 15, 2020
For many, it may be difficult to be thankful for the upcoming Thanksgiving. I get it, but that makes it even more important to be thankful.
Like many grandparents, we will not see any of our grandchildren over Thanksgiving. But I am thankful for our beautiful grandchildren and their parents. I am also thankful we have a fourth grandchild in the oven baking.
I am thankful women are tougher and stronger than men in every way, physically and mentally. If men had to survive pregnancy not to mention childbirth, the human race would have gone extinct a long time ago.
I am thankful for our health care workers. Our health care system is broken and has been for a long time, but our health care workers are not the problem, they have been our heroes. Thousands have worked countless hours, put their own health at risk and some have died in service of others.
I am thankful for the ability to continue to enjoy outdoor activities like bicycling and cross-country skiing. I know many who no longer can do so due to health reasons, so I am thankful.
I am thankful to have the financial resources to buy the ingredients for a Thanksgiving Dinner. Many do not. This has always been true, but even more true in 2020. For me personally, I subscribe to a heart-healthy diet of pumpkin pie and whip cream on Thanksgiving. My personal recipe, after adding whip cream to the pie, if one can still see the pie add more whip cream.
I am thankful to live in a democracy with free elections. In 2016, supporters of President Trump were happy with his win. Supporters of Senator Clinton were sad, frustrated, and occasionally angry. Today the opposite is true. Supporters of President Trump are frustrated and angry well supporters of President-Elect Biden are happy with his win.
- Note: For those who may have concerns, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency [CISA] a part of the Department of Homeland security stated on November 12th “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Just as Trump clearly won in 2016, Biden did in this election.
I am thankful for the diversity which makes our country great. We often talk about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, but we often forget it would not have been possible without the Native Americans.
- According to an article on History.com updated 11/1/2020, of the initial colonists who landed in Plymouth in 1620, only about half survived the first winter. Specifically, Squanto of the Pawtuxet tribe "taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag", The members of the Wampanoag tribe shared the initial Thanksgiving with the colonists.
Without help from Native American tribes, it is possible if not likely the Plymouth colonists would not have survived 1621 and been able to accumulate food for the feast, but important, the ensuing winter. Diversity has always been a strength for our country and I am thankful for it.
I am thankful to have a place to live. On August 7th, a research study coordinated among nine different institutions including MIT, Princeton and the U of AZ stated the total number of Americans at risk of losing their homes due to the pandemic, through no fault of their own, will approach 40 million. This is a tragic failure of our political parties. Today I will be thankful. Tomorrow I will continue to only support politicians who understand this crisis, its long-term economic consequences for all of us, and have developed action plans to resolve the crisis.
I am thankful for the overall goodwill of the American people. I understand there are those among us who accept and promote injustice, are anti-science, do not value education, look at the working class with contempt, but those are a minority. The vast majority of us are far from perfect but strive to do the right thing on a daily basis.
I am thankful for the gift of life. With a father killed in a farming accident, a sister killed in a car accident and a brother who died of cancer, no one should be more thankful than me for the gift of life. But I am embarrassed to admit, I often forget to do so. There are never guarantees about tomorrow, so it is important to be thankful for today. I will try harder.
I know a lot of us are struggling with being thankful, often with good reason. Trust me, I get it. But it is in times like this when we all need to strive to be thankful. I am going to try. I hope you will join me. And Happy Thanksgiving to all.